Cape Town – There was jubilation as South Africa crowned the season 18 ‘Idols SA’ winner at the Heartfelt Arena, in Tshwane, on Sunday.
Warrant Officer Thapelo Molomo, 29, of Pretoria, won Mzansi’s heart and claimed the top spot with the most votes.
Molomo is a psychologist at the SAPS Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) department in Brits, North West Province.
Nozi Sibiya, 27, of Durban, was the runner-up.
The show’s host, Proverb, had South Africans on the edge of their seats before the winner was announced, milking the moment for its suspense and drama.
When his name was announced, Molomo dropped to his knees on stage and prayed.
This magical moment had everyone in the arena jumping for joy, even National Police Minister Bheki Cele, who could not contain his excitement.
The SAPS has been behind Molomo and its social media platforms were used to share the organisation’s pride.
A spokesperson for the SAPS, Colonel Athlenda Mathe, who also attended the show’s grand finale, said they were proud of their colleague.
“The management of the SAPS congratulates Warrant Officer Thapelo Molomo for being crowned the ‘Idols’ season 18 winner.
“The organisation is immensely proud of the 29-year-old member, who is stationed at the Brits police station in North West, for hoisting the SAPS flag higher.
“Born and bred in Mokopane in Limpopo, the member began his career in the SAPS as an intern within the Psychological Services Section and was later employed to serve as a trauma counsellor in the same environment,” Mathe said.
She said Molomo held a BA (Honours) degree in psychology and was responsible for providing counselling and psychological interventions to police members and their families.
Speaking to Molomo backstage, Cele, taking his hand, asked: “What pushed you? What made you think you can do it?”
Molomo responded: “The gift … I was like eish … I don’t want to die and I have not fulfilled this.”
Cele said: “Congratulations. It was a good step. I saw many of your colleagues in the crowd supporting you.”
He also lauded Molomo for entertaining so many South Africans.
Cele described Molomo as “a beacon of hope for many police officers who are on a daily basis faced with psychosocial challenges”.
“He has illustrated to thousands of officers that hard work, determination, and perseverance is the foundation of any successful human being. We are proud of him and wish him all the best.
“We cannot wait to have him back in office to continue serving our men and women in blue,” Cele said.